On Sunday morning, the mad scramble at the mall won’t be people practicing for Black Friday, but participants in a new and exciting fundraiser, the American Heart Association’s urban race, HeartChase.
At 9 a.m., individuals and teams will fan out from the Westfield Valencia Town Center in a quest to uncover clues, solve puzzles and complete challenges in a race to the finish line.
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The event aims to bring attention to the nation’s leading health threats – heart disease and stroke, and raise funds for the American Heart Association’s mission-related work, including funding cardiovascular research, improving patient care, advocating for better health and educating the public about heart disease and stroke risks, warning signs and prevention.
“We’ve had two or three across the nation, that have taken place in the Midwest,” said Chris Chegwin, who is the local chairman of this new event. “This is the first in California. It’s a brand new program and promotes people getting outside and getting active, living a healthy lifestyle.”
He’s quick to point out that it’s not a golf tournament or a gala.
The Chase starts in front of the Regal Cinemas on Town Center Drive and will send participants on a scavenger-hunt-like scramble within a mile of the starting point. Organizers describe it as a combination of reality game shows “The Amazing Race” and “Minute To Win It.”
“There are nine checkpoints with a challenge at each checkpoint,” Chegwin explained. “They’ll have to move throughout the city, all within a mile of the mall.”
Some of the stops include Sprouts, Valencia Acura and Summit Park. Participants should be in good shape to compete.
The American Heart Association was active in the Santa Clarita Valley several years ago, but scaled back its presence. The group used to host an annual Heart Walk 5K that drew a large turnout and originated the Celebrity Waiter event that now raises money for the Santa Clarita Senior Center.
Now ready to make a comeback, the Association hopes to raise $95,000 with this event. Signups have been slow, but people can register the morning of the event.
“They should go to the website or come by the day of,” Chegwin explained. “Registration opens at 8 and there’s plenty of room to sign up.”
The cost of participating is $35 for children, $40 for adults.
Whether it is building a literal food pyramid, learning a quick exercise routine or finding things in the community that participants never knew existed, HeartChase is guaranteed to be a lot of fun for all involved. For more info, visit http://honor.americanheart.org/valencia.
About the American Heart Association
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of more than 831,000 Americans every year. Funds raised at HeartChase ensure that the AHA can continue its work of funding research that will help scientists and doctors better understand, treat and prevent cardiovascular disease; improving patient care; advocating for better health; and educating the public about heart disease and stroke risks, warning signs and prevention. American Heart Association-funded research has contributed to many important discoveries such as CPR, life-extending drugs, pacemakers, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine and surgical techniques to repair heart defects.